[SHSMD16 Speaker Podcast Series] Stewart Gandolf, CEO of Healthcare Success, talks with Tanya Andreadis, Associate Chief Marketing Officer and Robin Ward, Director of Customer Engagement & Marketing Analytics for Penn Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Health System, about their upcoming presentation at the 2016 SHSMD Connections Conference on the topic: Marketing Automation, Oh My! Lessons from Leading Health Systems. The concept of marketing automation is central to the digital age. In today’s podcast, Stewart Gandolf and guests Tanya Andreadis and Robin Ward discuss how hospitals and private practices alike can benefit from marketing automation technology. While many businesses outside of healthcare regularly use marketing automation, the healthcare industry is only just starting to explore this technology. Penn Medicine, however, is one of the first in the healthcare community to adopt a successful marketing automation system. “We’ve been using a system for quite a while,” explains Tanya. “We’ve gone through the ebbs and flows of the learning process and are at a point where we feel like we’ve had some level of mastery.” What is Marketing Automation? To put it simply, marketing automation is the process of creating a series of emails that respond to user behavior. The end goal being a transaction of some sort, like scheduling an appointment. “That’s where the automation part comes in,” Tanya points out. “You’re automating segments which are based on something that you know about your clients or something that they’ve done.” But marketing automation is so much more that. Marketing automation technology requires a significant investment on the data side; both in getting the right data and in building out the right algorithm and marketing assets, so you can do the things you want in the automation process. Building Relationships Additionally, marketing automation technology facilitates relationships. A strong and successful marketing automation program takes potential patients along a nurturing path. In their experience, Tanya and Robin estimate that it often takes three or more touch points to establish relationships that result in a transaction In the podcast, Tanya and Robin discuss the surprising discovery that harder calls to action aren’t always the best path. Instead, they suggest that softer calls to action that didn’t require commitment, like downloading a guide, proved to drive profitable business even better. Using Marketing Automation Marketing Automation technology is undoubtedly an essential tool, but creating a successful campaign takes time, careful planning and a dedicated team. “It takes a lot of thought to think through your strategy,” explains Tanya. “What do you want to achieve at the end of this? What’s the journey you want to take this audience on?” Currently, Penn Medicine runs marketing automation campaigns for many of its services lines. The open rate for most of the emails are above the national average and its most successful newsletter has over 40,000 subscribers. For listeners attending the 2016 SHSMD conference, Robin will be presenting on Monday, September 12 at 9:45 a.m. Stop by and visit members of our team at the Healthcare Success booth #612 in the exhibit hall. Our Marketing Strategist, Christine Rizza will be conducting free consultations. Be sure to make an appointment, so you don’t miss your opportunity.